Black Kraft Paper


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Apr 18, 2004
We use black backing paper on our jobs--it looks good with our black with silver imprinted labels. LJ use to have a smooth, slightly shiny black paper, but now they only have black kraft paper which is a rougher texture with a slight faded look. Yes, there's a question here. Does anyone have a source for the slick black paper?
I too have noticed this loss of quality. Just assumed that the manufacturers have started recycling the paper?
They grey Lineco paper would look great with silver and black labels and it is much more long-lasting than black kraft paper - sure it costs a LOT more but I feel it is well worth it!

I have never used black kraft myself but when I remove it from the back of old frames (if there is any left, that is) it is always very friable.
I agree, Sister. The new paper is terribly inferior. I don't know why they changed. We got a frame back in last week to change out some medals which had the old paper on it. It is MUCH stronger and it doesn't rub off on your hands so badly. Do ever HATE that stuff getting on my hands. I wouldn't dare to touch a mat or liner with that black junk on my hands, and I sure wouldn't want a customer to see my dirty hands, so I end up washing them at least 10 times a day. LJ should send some kind of heavy duty hand lotion out with each roll, my hands look like they could flake right off of the end of my arms!
Anyone have a source for the gray Lineco paper mentioned? Directly from them?
I still favor the black over the gray (labels are black with outside silver trim); so, I guess I will keep searching or just deal with it. Thanks, ya'll, in my usual southern drawl (thanks to all of you). :(
Originally posted by Jason:
Anyone have a source for the gray Lineco paper mentioned? Directly from them?
UMS (check banner at top of forum)
I too have seen the decline of black paper. It has been across all of the suppliers.

I guess this is just like everything else, price driven. Instead of going up on the cost, they lowered the quality.

The Lineco paper is nice on quality jobs, however, it is just too costly to use when you are replacing someones broken glass from the BB pre-framed special.
I have experienced the same quality fluctuation on the black and also the brown kraft we use for wrapping. I think kraft paper is a sort of "market" or "commodity" item for paper suppliers and they just buy whatever is cheapest at the time of the order without much regard to specific characteristics other than size and weight (I prefer the 50#). I'm always pleasantly surprised when we get in the "better" black paper.
It would be nice if there were some option in between this and the Lineco, that looked good and would be durable but less costly.
Kraft paper is run at the lowest possible cost because it is what they make corrigated board out of.

You would think that our industry would create enough of a demand for a nicer paper, but it doesn't. And the main reason is shipping.

The roll of kraft that I buy here in the Pacific North West for $34 would cost Wally about $68 if it had to be shipped to him. That is why there are paper mills all over the place. And the quality is also "all over the place".

Now if a company was to make a nice black paper at only say Ohio and ship from there.... it would cost just about the same as Lineco. You get what you pay for.

One alternative I saw, was a framer who does a higher end, had several rolls of Tyvek printed black on one side. So on the same roll she had white or black Tyvek.... and that beats Lineco all to heck in toughness.... :D
I found that the Archival Tyvek (white) "paper" is absolutely wonderful. This is all that I use in our framing. It is much less likely to rip and is very clean and professional looking. It is more expensive though.

Anyone else use this product? If so, what do you think of it?

Where do you get the Tyvek and what does it run?

I am also disappointed with the quality of the last roll of black paper that I ordered from L-J. I called to alert them of the problem with the hope that I would find out when a new batch would be available. No luck. The kind that I have now fades a lot! It does not look professional. I have been using black kraft paper for nineteen years and never had this problem. If anyone has ordered a black paper roll recently that is of a better quality, please let us know.

Whispering Woods Gallery
Good quality paper or plastic should be used for
dust covers, since poor quality paper will break
down, over the years, and those handling the frame
are likely to put their fingers through the degraded paper, turning it from a dust cover to
a dust collector.

First, the kraft paper issue: cost is a factor in adding the "sheen"-like coating to the final product. Last roll from LJ I got was "reverse wound", meaning the shiny side was on the "bottom" as you unrolled it, So check your roll to see if yours is reverse wound.

Now I'm curious: with all the moaning over pricing and competition, do you guys using Lineco or Tyvek increase your costs to cover the additional pricing of these covers?

And with all respect to Hugh: if you're framing a kid's piece with a lifespan of five years, this really isn't the same as grandma's needleart. so maybe you need two rolls of backing paper? One inexpensive for the kiddy art and one for the higher-end stuff???
I don't get it. On the one hand, we hear justification that independent framers get and deserve higher prices for their work because it's "better" and they use "better materials". And then there's an issue using something like Tyvek or Cambrick for all your work. Even if you are buying the stuff at low volume, you're talking less than $1 for materials cost for the average piece of "kiddie art". How much do you think you could possibly save by having a roll of cheap backing paper? I dunno, I'm just having a hard time seeing this as anything but a false economy.
Ironic, isn't it TheDoctah. The BB's are actually gaining over the independents in some of these areas.

Michael, I disagree about the need to preserve kids art. It is as important as granny's heirlooms. I just wish schools could afford to use higher quality paper for their art projects.
I much prefer the richness of the look of black kraft and decry the quality of recent rolls.

I do have several rolls of Lineco's bluish acid free paper, but hate the look of it on most looks cheap. Have never tried the grey.

I've also never tried the Tyvek of Cambrick, but will definately check it out. Best quality for a bit more bucks, but probably well worth the upgrade.

Lately, I've taken to spray adhesiving a reinforcing "patch" on the top third of the black dustcover where the wallhook(s) could potentially puncture the cover. It's takes more effort and the Tyvek or Cambrick would probably end up less expensive if you consider the extra effort of "patching" on a second piece.

Dave Makielski
We have always filled the back of every frame, so there is no air gap under the dustcover; no finger-poke-through is possible. If more than one 3/16" foam center board is needed to fill the frame, we use scrap board strips, something like hidden shadowbox sides, to bring the last filler board level with the back of the frame.

We use Lineco's blue acid-free, lignin-free dustcover paper for nearly everything (Dave thinks it looks cheap, but I know what it costs :eek: ), held in place by 3M #908 ATG Gold.

Before installing ATG & paper, we use 2" clear polyester packing tape (3M Super Heavy Duty from Sam's Club) to join the frame back to the filler, covering the fitting points. This makes a more structurally-integral package and prevents fitting points from poking through the paper. If the frame's back width is less than 1-1/2", we put the packing tape's edge on the outer edge of the frame; it makes a better adhesive surface for the ATG than raw wood does. And because the ATG is stuck to the packing tape, which pulls off cleanly with some effort, we avoid that gooey ATG residue left on the frame back for some future framer to deal with.